Tag Archives: Walter G. Elliott

Open meetings needed for county attorney selection?

Could there be any problem with selecting a county attorney without any open process?

CNHI in VDT today, Officials violate Iowa’s open meeting law,

CENTERVILLE, Iowa. — The Appanoose County Board of Supervisors and County Auditor Linda Demry violated the state open meeting law three times in less than three weeks recently when they interviewed candidates for the vacant county attorney’s position, a state agency has determined.

Well, apparently we don’t have that problem here Continue reading

Lowndes County attorney has been discussing the pipeline with other county attorneys

As usual, the citizens of Lowndes County are the last to know.

Alan Mauldin wrote for The Moultrie Observer 8 February 2014, County commission meetings to focus on Sabal Trail pipeline,

County Attorney Lester Castellow, who reently met with his counterparts from Brooks, Doughterty and Lowndes counties, is scheduled to address commissioners about the project during a Monday afternoon commission work session.

That would be the alleged Lowndes County attorney Walter G. Elliott.

Meanwhile, Colquitt County attorney Castellow is on the agenda for today’s noon Work Session in Moultrie, and again at 7PM Tuesday in the Colquitt County Commission Regular Session, with Sabal Trail pipeline reps in attendance. More here.

Which is something the Lowndes County Commission has never done. Sure, the Lowndes County Commissioners asked four questions and forwarded citizen questions in writing, which got cut-and-paste PR answers from Spectra. From one of the same Spectra reps who was “not familiar” with Spectra’s sorry rap sheet of corrosion, leaks, and fines.

-jsq

County lost LOST; now has 120 days to negotiate with cities

So all our tax money the county spent on the alleged county attorney arguing before the state Supreme Court was wasted. The remaining law seems to say by 120 days from Monday the cities and the county need to come to an agreement.

Kay Harris wrote for the VDT yesterday, Lowndes LOST in limbo: Supreme Court tosses key amendment,

In a ruling issued Monday, Oct. 7, the Supreme Court of Georgia declared a 2010 amendment to the Local Option Sales Tax Act unconstitutional, reasoning that the amendment would delegate a legislative function of allocating tax proceeds to the judicial branch of government, a violation of the Separation of Powers clause of the Georgia Constitution.

For Lowndes County, the ruling effectively renders the lawsuit moot that was filed by the five cities against the county in September 2012.

The Supreme Court’s ruling came in the case of Turner County vs. the City of Ashburn over a dispute in splitting the proceeds from the one cent sales tax, the same issue in the Lowndes lawsuit. By declaring the portion unconstitutional that would allow a judge to decide how to allocate the tax dollars between the entities, the issue is now in limbo for several counties in Georgia.

You may recall that former Chairman Ashley Paulk wasn’t interested in discussing proposals from the cities, and said from before the LOST negotiations began that he expected it to go to arbitration.

This was the same Chairman Ashley Paulk who put SPLOST VII on the ballot a year early and lost it. I wonder how much input County Manager Joe Pritchard had into these two losing decisions?

At least SPLOST VI hasn’t expired yet and there’s time for the voters to go again on SPLOST VII in November.

What happens now with LOST? Continue reading

No contracts for tenants of Leila Ellis Building @ LCC 2013-10-07

Two, four, six, many: that’s how Lowndes County counts tenants. It’s great the county is providing space for organizations that help the needy, but it’s kind of curious that the county didn’t seem to know who or how many organizations were using the Leila Ellis building, and had no lease agreement with them. Not to mention it took twenty questions from Commissioners to get staff to admit that lack of contracts, at Monday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session.

6.b. Leila Ellis Building-Available Space

Kind of like they have no contract with the alleged county attorney.

Chad McCleod at one point said two organizations are currently in the building, LAMP and Cash Prosperity. He said the County let LAMP use it, and LAMP let Cash Prosperity use it.

In response to a question from Commissioner DeMarcus Marshall, County Manager Joe Pritchard said under normal circumstances any organization would need to come to the Commission to ask for space. They currently have more applicants than space.

Commissioner Crawford Powell wanted to know if the county was going to set up guidelines for who could lease. Pritchard said they could, and they couldn’t lease to a private business.

Commissioner Richard Raines wanted to know if annual leases were the practice of this board. Pritchard, not actually answering the question asked, said “That would be my suggestion.”

JoTaryla Thomas came up to speak for Continue reading

No contract and no bids for County Attorney, yet 20% raise to $300,000

In response to (a second) open records request, County Clerk Paige Dukes stated in writing that Lowndes County does not have a contract with the person referred to in numerous minutes as “County Attorney”, and that no bids have been entertained for legal services for the county. According to the budget documents the Clerk referred to, the county raised the County Attorney’s budget 20% to $300,000 for 2013. Illustrations below (some with links) were added by me. -jsq

From: pdukes@lowndescounty.com
To: b-ahuntley@hotmail.com
CC: asmith@lowndescounty.com; JPritchard@lowndescounty.com; bswaller@bellsouth.net
Subject: Open Records Request
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 13:22:08 +0000

Good Morning Mrs. Huntley,

In response to your open records request Continue reading

Attorney declares prices @ LCC 2013-07-09

Commissioners approved dollar amounts for two purchase orders that were completely different from the ones they were quoted the morning before, with no discussion: the County Attorney quoted the new figures, asked for approval, and immediately got it at the 9 July 2013 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission.

County Attorney Walter G. Elliott
  1. For Consideration
    1. Video Arraignment for Magistrate and Juvenile Court Contract
    2. Enterprise and Backup Storage Solution Scope of Work

Chairman Slaughter said they would “conjoin a and b together”.

What we have at this time are the work orders and what we would like to get at this time is a motion to approve and ratify the purchase orders.

County Attorney Walter G. Elliott asked to clarify: Continue reading